Polling underway in high-stakes MCD election; 18 pc votes cast till 12 pm


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 04-12-2022 14:25 IST | Created: 04-12-2022 14:22 IST
Polling underway in high-stakes MCD election; 18 pc votes cast till 12 pm
Representative image Image Credit: ANI
  • Country:
  • India

Voting is underway across 250 municipal wards of Delhi in the high-stakes civic election which is largely been seen as a three-way contest involving the AAP, BJP and Congress.

With polling beginning at 8 am, voters made a beeline at polling booths as the day progressed. Voting will continue till 5.30 pm and the counting of votes is on December 7. The voter turnout at noon was 18 per cent.

While the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party is looking to wrest power from the BJP, the saffron party is eying its fourth consecutive term at the civic body.

The Congress, which has suffered a back-to-back drubbing in the national capital since 2015 in parliamentary, assembly and municipal corporations polls, is looking to redeem itself with a notable performance this time.

There are 1,349 candidates in the fray and over 1.45 crore electors are eligible to exercise their franchise in the elections to the 250 wards of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the results of which have the potential of having ramifications beyond the national capital.

Kejriwal on Sunday urged people to exercise their franchise for setting up an honest establishment in the MCD that delivers results.

The chief minister cast his vote along with his parents, wife and children at a polling booth in Civil Lines here. Exiting the booth holding his parents' hands, he said, ''People should vote for the party that is honest and works. (Vote) For those who focus on the cleanliness of the city and not those who keep creating hurdles.'' Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta cast his vote along with his wife at West Patel Nagar.

Anil Kumar, the Delhi Congress president, however, found his name missing from the voters' list. ''My name is neither in the voter list nor in the deleted list. My wife has voted. Officials are checking it,'' Kumar said at a polling booth in Dallupura.

An official said, ''Polling percentage at 12 pm across Delhi in 250 wards is around 18 per cent. Polling is going on smoothly in all wards. No untoward incident was reported till now. Polling has so far been hassle-free.'' Among the early voters was 106-year-old Shanti Bala Vaidya at the Deputy Ganj polling station in the Bara Hindu Rao area.

''She has not missed an election since she started voting,'' said her daughter Kamla. Vaidya (106) only understands Bengali but cannot talk.

Earlier in the day, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia asked people to vote for work, not for those ''responsible for making Delhi a dumping yard''.

''I appeal to 2.5 crore people of Delhi to step out of their houses and vote today so that we can work for you. People have made up their minds to elect the Aam Aadmi Party in the municipal corporation,'' Sisodia told reporters at his residence.

Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to people to cast votes in the MCD polls.

''I appeal to all voters in Delhi to exercise their franchise today and fulfil their responsibility of shaping the city,'' the LG tweeted.

According to data shared by State Election Commission officials, the total number of voters in Delhi is 1,45,05,358 of which 78,93,418 are male, 66,10,879 female and 1,061 transgender persons.

Authorities have set up 13,638 polling stations across Delhi. According to data, 3,360 booths in 493 locations have been identified as ''critical'' or ''sensitive''.

Sixty-eight model polling stations and as many pink polling stations covering all assembly segments in the city have been established, poll officials said.

According to Delhi State Election Commission figures, there are 229 voters in the national capital aged 100 and above. Also, there are 2,04,301 voters of age 80 years and above but less than 100.

Both the AAP and the BJP have exuded confidence that they will emerge victorious in the polls while the Congress is seeking to regain lost turf.

This is the first civic election after the fresh delimitation exercise. The MCD poll is being held days after the first phase of the Gujarat assembly elections, and a day ahead of its second phase where also the AAP's entry has disrupted the political equation of the western coastal state.

In the high-decibel 13-day campaigning, the BJP leaders claimed victory in the election for 250 MCD wards and mounted an all-out attack on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and its convener Arvind Kejriwal over corruption.

AAP leaders led by Kejriwal attacked the BJP with equal vigour, raising issues such as landfills in the city and ''corruption'' during the saffron party's 15-year rule at the municipal corporations.

This is also the first civic poll being held in the national capital after the February 2020 riots.

The erstwhile MCD, established in 1958, was trifurcated in 2012 during Sheila Dikshit's tenure as chief minister.

Between 2012 and 2022, Delhi had 272 wards and three corporations -- North Delhi, South Delhi and East Delhi municipal corporations. These three civic bodies were reunified into the Municipal Corporation of Delhi which came into existence on May 22.

In the 2017 civic election, the BJP won 181 of the 270 wards. Polling could not be held on two seats due to the death of candidates. The AAP had won 48 wards and the Congress 27. The voting percentage that year was around 53 per cent. 

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback